Why can't I wink? Can I learn how?

I’m 33, and I have never been able to learn how to wink - I can slightly close my right eye, but it looks more like an ugly squint than a wink.

Is there a way to learn how to wink? For one thing, it makes it very hard to take a good picture - I have to use one hand to cover my left eye, while I look through the viewfinder.


At a guess, try holding your fingers against your eyebrow when closing the eye as gently as you can, this should give you a feel for winking which is just closing the eye quickly without scruntching it closed.
If the problem is closing one eye whilst not closing the other, then youse your fingers to gently control your eyelids by pressing up against the eyebrow above the eye lid you don’t want to close, and trying to close just the other eye lid.
This sort of thing (using a hand to control the unwanted part of a movement) can be used to learn silly skills like moving just the last joint in a finger, so should work for blinking.

I learned to control not only my eyelids but my ears by concentrating on that part of the anatomy, simultaneously thinking "Move, move, move…

That and practice, practice, practice until you get it workiing smoothly.
Winking is much easer than the ears as the scalp has to do the work on the ears.

Try, try, try, and try again.

Bippy’s method not only should work but does. Well, it did for me. I used only to be able to wink with my right eye. Then one day I decided for reasons I can’t recall or imagine, that I was going to see if I could learn to wink with my left. Using exactly the technique he described, I learned to do a left wink in less than an hour.

My wife couldn’t wink when I met her. She worked at it and now she can, so there is hope. Why she bothered, I do not know.

That’s how I got my ears to move as well. They “accidently” moved whilst I was looking at myself in the mirror and I said to myself “I ain’t movin’ till my ears wiggle again.”

People don’t believe it when I tell them that it comes through practice.


Thanks Princhester I wasn’t sure how quick it would be for learning to wink. When I am really board I will isolate the centre joint of my right index finger with my left hand, then wiggle just the last joint of that finger. I’ve done this for some time but still can only manage to move the last joint independently a very small way if I don’t isolate the other joints. Still one day I’ll be able to move all my finger joints independently and that will of course make a great party trick.